Cookley Skyline, photo by Kurt Hartle
Composer Kurt Hartle exalts East Anglia in his debut release “Suffolk Skies.” Available on iTunes as of 2nd, July 2013. The style of music is predominantly classical while a few tracks feature light jazz characteristics. All the works are expressive and easy on the ears. “I enjoy composing pieces that simultaneously relax and inspire. Music works well when it stirs one to visualise a scene,” states the composer.
The title track ‘Suffolk Skies’ plays out a repeating theme which broadens to big chordal sounds. It conveys the wide open spaces of the Suffolk sky views, including fleeting clouds or perhaps a storm before opening up to clear the air, anew. He uses trumpet to sound the end phrase to the finale on a note of pride and appreciation for our grand vistas.
Most of the track titles relate directly to locations and elements around Southwold. For instance, his piece ‘Southwold Repose’ was written as an adult’s lullaby, representing the town as a popular place for visitors to relax and unwind. In Southwold itself, as part of the commons, lies the little Nursemaid’s Park. Knowing Southwold since 1997, Kurt recollects scenes of mother and child at play in the safety of the little park, which used to be called ‘Nursemaid’s Green.’ The qualities of childhood fun and pastoral security are reflected in the piece of that name by use of gentle phrasing and playful rhythms.
The composer recommends taking a walk from the Southwold pier to Easton Bavents whilst listening to the ‘Piano Concerto 1st Mov’t’ (nicknamed The Etherial). From that vantage point, he says, “you can observe the light-hearted drama conveyed by the piece. Beauty strikes the eye. And, suddenly a song emerges. And in the case of that particular day, that particular walk, it was a matter of getting home fast enough to jot down the theme. It kept slipping away and then returning. It was an etherial experience, hence the nickname.”
One very accessible musical metaphor is his work titled ‘At The Breakers.’ In this piece one can easily recognise the splash of the waves and ebb and flow of the North Sea tide. The album falls under the ‘instrumental’ category which defines any piece or musical work that lack vocals and lyrics. While no singer is present, these are songs without words. From the intimacy of a piano solo to the compexity of an orchestral arrangement, Mr. Hartle demonstrates a breadth of sound and expressive power. The album strongly stands as a suitable tribute for all who enjoy the beauty of Suffolk County, Southwold and, indeed, all of East Anglia.